BMW: Working With GM? Us? You Must Be Dreaming

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
BMW says there is absolutely no truth to the rumor that they might be cooperating with GM. A week ago, Germany’s Handelsblatt had reported that “GM flirts with BMW.” Supposedly, there were low level talks.“Absolutely no discussions … not on our end,” BMW Chairman Norbert Reithofer told Reuters an event at BMW’s plant in Spartanburg. “I don’t know where it comes from.” With the “not on our end,” he alluded that GM may have been talking to itself.BMW is actively shopping its engines to achieve better economies of scale. Late September, Saab and BMW announced a deal allowing Saab to use BMW engines in next generation Saabs from 2012. Whether that will have huge scale effects is another story.
Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href=""> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href=""> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

More by Bertel Schmitt

Join the conversation
4 of 9 comments
  • Cwp Cwp on Oct 14, 2010

    That is an awesome billboard. And I say this as a former Z3 owner.

  • Dartman Dartman on Oct 14, 2010

    Not un-heard of...BMW is currently using GM automatics built in France in the 328i. I believe in the past BMW provided a diesel engine that Lincoln used in 1984-85 Continental Mk VII's.

  • Tricky Dicky Tricky Dicky on Oct 15, 2010

    This is no biggie. All that happened is that GM's Vice Chairman had a little speculative chat with BMW execs at the Paris Motor Show. We also found his business card left lying around in the Daimler area.... but this went unreported. It's just the usual schmooze. The real issue is, what are the stages of relationship building when OEMs make agreements. It has to go from first handshakes and CEO to CEO chemistry (or not), down through all manner of business and technical negotiations, before any engineering activities take place. All BMW are saying is "Hey, no step 2 being planned".

  • Craig Paske Craig Paske on Oct 28, 2010

    GM & BMW & Chrysler have been working very closely for years on HYBRIDs. I find it very hard to believe that they never ever discussed anything else.